Small-scale fishers celebrated for contributing to human well-being and the safeguarding of natural resources

Launch ceremony of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 highlights role in eradicating poverty and making agri-food systems more sustainable

©FAO/Jordi Vaque

IYAFA 2022 is aligned with FAO's 4 betters

©FAO/Jordi Vaque

Rome – The United Nations International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA 2022) was launched today at a ceremony that highlighted how small-scale artisanal fishers, fish farmers and fish workers contribute to human well-being, healthy agri-food systems and poverty eradication through the responsible and sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Director-General QU Dongyu in his address underscored that the vision underpinning the Year is aligned with FAO’s “4 Betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all – leaving no one behind.” 

The Year will also contribute, he said, towards reaching several of the objectives under the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Looking forward to celebrating the Year “hand-in-hand with small-scale fisheries and aquaculture actors,” the FAO Director-General said: “Small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture are small in scale, but big in value!” 

A recent FAO WorldFish study indicates that the small-scale sector may account for the bulk of production considering that about 80 percent of the world’s aquaculture production comes from developing countries, with the number of artisanal farmers being much higher than those employed at farm level in medium- and large-scale aquaculture.

The launch event included an address by Jorge Luis Prado Palomino, Minister of Production, Peru, who said that he hoped that IYAFA 2022 would strengthen artisanal fishing activity, ensure the sustainability in the use of resources, and accelerate efforts to achieve the elimination of poverty in Peru and worldwide.

Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, sent a video message underlining the importance of the world’s seas and oceans as a source of food and employment. She explained how the German government has invested 130 million euro for resource management through initiatives combating illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing, support of various marine management plans and for strengthening local value chains. 

Uganda’s Margaret Nakato: inspiring, positive, and passionate

During the virtual ceremony, the FAO Director-General presented the Margarita Lizarraga Medal, to Margaret Nakato of the Katosi Women Development Trust in Uganda who he praised for her work in organizing women in fishing communities to work together, empowering them with knowledge and skills, access to training, technology and markets.

The award is bestowed to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Thanking the Director-General and FAO, Nakato said the award will inspire the women she works with, to continue to support food security and the eradication of poverty. 

The ceremony also included testimonies relating to the innovative capacity of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in the context of sustainable development.

Manuel Barange, Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, closed proceedings with a call for global action to help make IYAFA a significant year-long undertaking. “The Year provides a unique opportunity to elevate the profile of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture […] and to lay the ground for securing a future in which these sectors can realize their full potential in contributing to sustainable development” he said.
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Communication material available at IYAFA 2022 Asset Bank.

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Gregory Delaney
FAO News and Media
+ 33 6 81305273 
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FAO News and Media
+39 06 570 53625
[email protected]

FAO News and Media (+39) 06 570 53625 [email protected]

Gregory Delaney FAO News and Media (Rome) [email protected]